Cadillac has rolled out a procession of new utility vehicles during the past several years, including the compact XT4 that debuted at the New York International Auto Show in 2018. General Motors’ luxury brand is back in the Big Apple this week with another new entry, though the debut of the CT5 sedan shows Caddy won’t be a one-trick pony.
The brand remains “very much committed to sedans,” said Caddy President Steve Carlisle, even if the options will be fewer than had been planned earlier in the decade.
Meant to replace the old CTS, the new sedan slots under the big CT6, the current Cadillac flagship which is, at least for now, set to go out of production in the next year. As such, the new model will have to put the best face forward for the brand, especially in the Chinese market where sedans remain a popular choice among high-line consumers.
The original CTS, which was launched back in 2002, introduced the world to Cadillac’s distinctively edgy Art & Science design language. That styling theme has been evolving in recent years, the edges being buffed down on Caddy’s latest models, but several key details carry forward, including the vertical head and taillights found on the new CT5.
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The 2020 model also retains the familiar Cadillac octagonal grille, anchored by the latest version of the wreath-and-crest brand logo.
Though less angular than prior Art & Science designs, the CT5 retains a few key creases, especially on the hood and front fenders, with a crisp character line linking head and taillights. The silhouette adopts a fastback design, with lots of glass that enhances the car’s appearance of length while also offering better visibility for driver and passengers.
The new sedan measures 193.8 inches, nose-to-tail, with a 116-inch wheelbase that adds about an inch to that of the outgoing CTS. The CT5 stands 57.2-inches tall and 74.1-inches wide. It is larger in virtually every dimension than the old sedan and boasts more passenger space, especially for rear seat occupants.
Inside, the CT5 cabin rivals the bigger CT6 in terms of luxurious appointments, with the requisite leather, wood and chrome accents. But the emphasis is on high-tech features, starting with the digital gauge cluster and a 10-inch touchscreen to operate the sedan’s infotainment system and other vehicle functions. Drivers also can operate key functions by voice, by steering wheel controls or by using a new, rotary control knob.
The CT5 follows the CT6 flagship to become the brand’s second model to come with optional Super Cruise, widely considered one of the most sophisticated, semi-autonomous driving systems now on the road.
(Click Here for a look at the new Cadillac XT5 sport-utility vehicle.)
The system “enables customers to drive hands-free on more than 130,000 miles of limited-access freeways in the U.S. and Canada, using LiDAR map data, high-precision GPS, a state-of-the-art driver attention system and a network of camera and radar sensors,” the automaker explains. “The driver attention system helps keep drivers engaged by detecting and signaling when drivers need to pay more attention to the road.”
Super Cruise is eventually expected to roll out across the Cadillac line-up. Currently, the adoption rate on the CT6 is modest, in large part due to its $2,500 option price. Caddy officials say they hope to drop the price to increase that “take rate.”
In terms of powertrains, Caddy CT5 buyers will have two options, including a twin-scroll turbo 2.0-liter inline-four making 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The performance alternative is a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 that bumps the figures up to 335 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. While Cadillac officials haven’t confirmed future plans, Carlisle has hinted that an even higher-performance V-Series version of the CT5 will follow.
There are currently no plans to offer the plug-in hybrid option available on the CT6.
Both engines will be paired with a high-efficiency 10-speed automatic gearbox and while the sedan comes in a rear-wheel-drive configuration, both engines can be ordered with optional all-wheel-drive which Caddy officials expect to be the primary choice in northern climates.
(For even more on Caddy’s SUV and EV strategy, Click Here.)
The 2020 Cadillac CT5 will reach showrooms this autumn. Pricing won’t be released until closer to its on-sale date but is expected to be bumped up from the outgoing CTS which currently starts at $46,995.